Easter Activations: Instagrammable Spaces & In-Store Fun
Retailers and brands are challenging traditional customs with a modern take on the spring holiday period. A looser interpretation of Easter reflects how fewer younger people now identify with organised religion (see Selective Spirituality).
Spending during the spring holiday (March 30 to April 2) is expected to reach $18.2bn in the US, with 81% of Americans planning to celebrate this year (National Retail Federation, 2018). In Europe, the consumer focus is on family-related activities – 40.8% of total Easter spend in 2017 was on services and experiences (GlobalData, 2017).
- Modern Easter Characters: London department stores Harrods and Selfridges both celebrate Peter Rabbit, the Beatrix Potter-inspired children’s movie about the mischievous hero – a new take on the traditional Easter-bunny theme. Harrods will host in-store scavenger hunts in its toy department, encouraging kids to track down lost artefacts (inspired by the film) with the help of security guards. Selfridges has installed a photo opportunity with the main character, Peter, alongside face-painting stations and workshops to co-create decorations, cards and masks.
London housing community East Village is hosting a Wizard of Oz-themed hunt for its residents. The event will be kicked off by character Dorothy, who will send them on their way around the neighbourhood searching for chocolate eggs and encountering the story’s protagonists – the lion, the tin man and the scarecrow.
- Chocolate – Retail’s Easter Sweet Spot: Chocolate manufacturer Lindt is hosting a family-friendly pop-up boutique at Canada’s Square One Shopping Mall. It brings to life Lindt’s digital interactive storybook app, The Bell that Rang In Easter, about a magical friendship between rabbit Theo and a girl called Emma – a story by Canadian author Ashley Spires. Visitors can listen to live readings, receive personalised Lindt gold bunny ribbons, and take photos with Easter characters.
- Candy Rush for Adults: Dutch department store chain Hema has opened an Easter-egg pop-up store in Amsterdam selling chocolate eggs in 18 different flavours and colours. Themed around ‘disco dipping’ – the act of dipping an ice-cream cone into colourful sprinkles – it looks like a candy shop for adults. Consumers can fill bags with different eggs that are stored in plastic tubes. There’s also a colourful ball pit for photo opportunities.
- Smart-Speaker Hunt: The smart home division of tech company Google – Google Home – has embarked on a European tour to promote its donut-sized smart speaker Google Mini, with voice-reactive donut trucks distributing goodies. Venues include Westfield Stratford and John Lewis in London. Visitors can ask speaker devices mounted on the truck a question, triggering a box containing a donut or Google Mini to slide down from a chute. See also Reflexive Retail.
- Egg-Inspired Instagram Pop-Up: An egg-themed pop-up museum called The Egg House will open in New York after Easter on April 7. It echoes the Instagrammability of food-themed exhibition The Museum of Ice Cream – see our blog post for more.
The 3,300 sq ft space features immersive and multisensory installations, encouraging visitors to imagine the home of a fictional personified egg character named Ellis. The Egg House’s Instagram account tells of Ellis’s life in more detail.
Six life-sized rooms are equipped with sounds (such as walking on eggshells) and smells (savoury and sweet egg dishes) to create a multisensory vibe. New York breakfast spot Egg Shop and egg-waffle ice-cream parlour Eggloo dishes up sweet and savoury treats in The Kitchen. The Hallway includes vending machines, while The Pool is filled with caviar-sized balls. There’s also a human-sized egg crate and an eggshell swing suspended from the ceiling. The space also hosts panels, yoga and calligraphy sessions. The admission fee is $18.